A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from a lovely lady who had really enjoyed the 5 Days to a Better Birth Challenge. She said she would love to hear more about my own births. Specifically, she wanted to know more detail about how I used my own techniques to birth, my three children, naturally, and if I had any tips about how to navigate the Irish hospital system.
So I thought it might be really useful to share more of that detail with you today. Make a cuppa and get cosy :-)
My first birth, like for most people, had the biggest impact on me and shaped my whole birthing experience. It was in 2009, and not much has changed in the Irish hospital system (apart from Covid!), in so far as the staff are blooming awesome, but sadly for them and for us, they are desperately understaffed and there is a growing tendency to treat birth as a heavily medicalized event. Therefore, giving birth in Ireland (and most of the Westernized world) can currently be a little tricky to...
On my first baby, when I found out I was pregnant, I stopped running in my first trimester. Why? Because having experienced a miscarriage a few months beforehand, there was just something in the back of my mind thinking "God I wonder does all this running and bobbing up and down somehow affect this tiny baby's ability to grow and cling on to life? So in essence, fear stopped me, and I guess also a lack of knowledge. I kept walking all the time throughout and eating healthily, but looking back, I really wished I kept my fitness levels higher.
Fitness and supporting women on their journey into motherhood are both big passions of mine. So, I committed to learning more about it. Learning the facts, the guidelines, the safety aspects - a couple of years ago, I completed my qualification as a Prenatal & Postnatal Fitness Specialist, (I already hold pre/postnatal yoga, Hatha Yoga, and several other qualifications in the related field).
In a nutshell, the question...
When I was asked to give a talk last week in aid of Maternal Mental Health Awareness week for the powerhouse team that is Everymum.ie, I was honoured. I set about laying out my talk and discovered that I had never really sat down properly to consider my own Mental Health journey through Motherhood. This blog is a summary of that talk.
If you had asked me a few years ago about Maternal Mental Health, I think I would probably have been a little dismissive. I mean, you get to stay at home from work for almost a year - how can that be hard?! Before I had kids, in all honesty, I didn't even consider Maternal Mental Health as even a "thing". Well, roll on three miscarriages and three children later and I know only too well the challenges!
We all have our own stories and challenges, and I remember when my eldest was a baby and he had transient lactose intolerance. It was a nightmare. I had to pump, put drops into my milk, wait for 30 minutes and then give it to him. My god,...
After I had my 2nd miscarriage in July 2016, I felt compelled to write about it here on NurtureMamas. It was then published on The Huffington Post and The M Word (Maïa Dunphy's successful blog). Since then I have received so many messages from amazing women.
Just recently I sat down with the wonderful Psychologist Allison Keating from bwell.ie to chat about all things miscarriage. It's a very frank discussion where I talk about my own experiences and Allison guides me through how to deal with the related emotions. Allison also gives advice on how to cope with loss.
If you find this useful, please share it with other ladies in your life, or contant me at [email protected].
Big love xxxx
It all started in 2008. I got married the previous December, and then as expected our eyes turned towards starting a family. After a few months of trying, we got pregnant - hurrahh! The joy of seeing those 2 lines on that stick is just indescribable!
OMG, I'm going to be a mother...the realization started to sink in. With a due date now confirmed for March 2009, let the games begin! I bought the 'What To Expect When You're Expecting' book (the apps weren't around back then!), as you do on your first, and excitedly started to read each week's descriptions...trying not to read ahead...touching my stomach sweetly each week as my baby's size changed from fruit to fruit! My husband and I were so excited. I tried not to think about names just yet, but couldn't help scribbling down a few! I felt a bit nauseous, which I welcomed...ooh that's a good sign! And then I couldn't believe I started showing at about 10 weeks. I loved the little swelling at the base of my abdomen. I visualised...